Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.